Mac mini + HDTV or 27" iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by llamaroo, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. llamaroo macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2011
    Hi all,

    Started this thread asking which HDTV to link up to a Mac mini. After reading the responses, the 27" iMac may be an option now so I would like to ask for your advice.

    Which is best for:
    Word processing, photo editing, watching movies, youtube, skype, and doing graduate coursework (research, reading pdfs/websites, writing, etc.):

    1)Mac mini + 32" or 40" 1080p LED HDTV


    2)iMac 27" (base model)

    Your comments/insights are highly appreciated.

  2. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    iMac is probably the right choice

    First of all, please note that any 1080p TV set (32" or 40") is NOT a good computer display. I think an iMac might be a proper choice for you. However, the ideal setup would be Mac Mini + 27" Cinema Display. I have been waiting for Lion and the update of Mac Mini. I may go Mac Mini + 27" Cinema Display once Mac Mini is updated and Lion is out.
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Anything that's not a TV (ergo, iMac).

    The pixel density on a 32" or 40" TV is so low that you'll be sitting too far away to word process effectively. a ~23-27" 1080p screen would of course work, but if you're getting that, you might as well get the iMac (or just a monitor of that size and save paying for the tuner in the TV), since it's got a better panel than any small TV.

    27" iMac, no question.

    The iMac (especially the new quad-cores) is DRASTICALLY faster for processor-intensive operations (photo editing, and coursework depending on your degree), the color-accurate IPS display is the ONLY way to go when it comes to photo editing, and again due to the pixel density issue photo editing will be somewhat awkward on a large-screen TV.

    40" HDTV.

    The TV is geared toward watching videos, so it should be no surprise that it's going to work well for that purpose.

    That said, if you compare it to a 32" TV, the iMac is probably just fine for watching video as well. In fact, if you've got a small room and are sitting close to the screen, the high pixel density coupled with good upscaling on the computer might result in a more attractive picture than on a roughly equivalent sized TV.

    Notably, for video, the 27" iMac has pretty good built-in sound, while the Mini (of course) has bare minimum and absolutely requires external speakers.

    From the sound of it, if you're only getting one computer, you'll be better served on average by the iMac. If you're trying to watch movies on it in a large room it'll feel undersized, but so long as you don't try to put it on the opposite side of the room from the couch, it should work reasonably well in place of a moderate-sized TV. Heck, I remember a time not so long ago when the super-expensive 27" CRT TV my parents bought for the living room seemed huge.
  4. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    Without wanting to sound like a wanker, I have both.

    I would not even contemplate my mac mini + HDTV (46 inch Sony) as a word processor/ research computer.

    It is great for skype/ichat and even internet (Kylo browser is good for tv) and you tube. I use Plex for movies/tv shows etc.

    Go with the 27 inch iMac.
  5. jrasero23 macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2011
    Go with iMac

    Both are great computers but go with the iMac. I used to have the 2010 Mac Mini and when it first came out I was slightly angry that it had the old processor chip in it. Now with the new iMacs with the Sandy Bridge processors the Mac Mini is ancient and one of the worst values for $699! I just got the 21.5" 2011 base iMac and it's awesome. I have it hooked up to a 23" HD Samsung monitor and it looks great. Remember you can always hook up the 27" iMac to a separate monitor or better yet two separate monitors.

    Frankly after paying $700 for the Mac Mini, $70 keyboard, $70 mouse, $20 at least for speakers, and $200 a least for a monitor you start to get into iMac territory plus the Mini has inferior parts.

    The graphics and processor are reasons alone to buy the iMac over the Mini

    Even if the Mini gets a upgrade asap, I highly doubt it will have a quad core running at the same speeds as the iMac.
  6. llamaroo thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2011
    Thanks everyone for all of your posts. They were extremely helpful and insightful. Went to the Apple store last night and picked up a 27" 2.7 GHz model, base configuration. Very pleased with it! :)
  7. Krovem macrumors 6502


    Feb 9, 2009
    I would go with the 27" iMac. Beautiful display and very powerful computer.

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